Note to our followers: Our nearly 13-year run of daily publication of new content on came to a close at the end of 2018. Publisher Gary Schwitzer and other contributors may post new articles periodically. But all of the 6,000+ articles we have published contain lessons to help you improve your critical thinking about health care interventions. And those will be still be alive on the site for a couple of years.

TV sweeps period contrived controversy

We’re in the middle of the November TV ratings/sweeps period. TV stations at these times often suddenly like to show a great interest in health care stories because their consultants tell them that viewers want health care news. (Why they don’t give it this attention the rest of the year is unknown.) But health care […]


The Whole Story

Minnesota Medicine this month has a good summary of our work to date with


News Releases & Scientific Meetings: A Guest Editor Column

Here’s a guest editor column from one of our reviewers, Harry DeMonaco,  a Senior Clinical Associate in the Decision Support and Quality Management Unit of the Massachusetts General Hospital.   News coverage of the recent American Heart Association Scientific Sessions (November 4 – 7) raises new questions about how journalists cover scientific meetings. On Monday […]


How Four Stories Fared in Covering Alzheimer's Blood Test Study

Last week many news organizations reported on research to find a blood test to help identify Alzheimer’s disease.  We reviewed four stories on that research: • San Francisco Chronicle • ABC’s Good Morning America  • ABC Evening News • CBS Evening News  All four stories were rated as unsatisfactory for discussing the quality of the […]


Exuberance over Exubera comes to crashing halt

No Monday morning quarterbacking here. Just the usual reminder to journalists and consumers that – while in the opera, it ain’t over till the fat lady sings – in health care and medical research, exuberance over new ideas such as new drugs maybe ought to be restrained until long-term evidence is in. Pfizer’s announcement this […]


Annual checkups overrated

The Chicago Tribune today has a good story about how annual medical checkups are overrated. As the story explains: That’s because there is scant scientific evidence showing that yearly checkups help prevent disease, death or disability for adults with no symptoms. Many tests and procedures performed during the visits have questionable value, experts say. When […]


Bitter SCHIP recipe

On this blog I have been remiss not to weigh in on the recent and ongoing debate over children’s health insurance and the SCHIP or State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Not surprisingly, some of the wittiest commentary has come from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Their segments within the past week should not be missed. […]


Reader Response to "Too Brief To Matter" Discussion

We received some interesting feedback in response to our last Publisher’s Note, “Too Brief To Matter – Part Two: The benefits/harms of briefs & digests,” and wanted to share some of it with you. We are planning a revision to our site that would provide a better place to host such discussions online in the […]


The corruption of health journalism awards

Australian journalism Melissa Sweet, in a piece entitled, “The ties that bind: how big pharma buys a good press,” in the Australian online magazine Crikey (subscription required but free trial available), writes: “The media is often quick to get on its high horse about the pharmaceutical industry’s wining and dining of doctors, but is much […]


Health news that is too brief to matter

On our website, we’ve posted a new Publisher’s Note to foster discussion about what’s missing in so many of those “health news briefs” or “health watch” digests or “medical minutes.” In the 17 months that we’ve been reviewing stories from about 60 major U.S. news organizations, we have given our top five-star score to […]


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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